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Identify this influential
Ottoman Age Notables -- Hunkar Hacı Bektaş Veli (1209-1271); Islamic Sufi (mystic) at the dawn of the Ottoman Age. After his death, the Bektashi order became the official order of the Ottoman Janissary corps, but when Mahmud II abolished the corps in 1826, the Bektashis in Turkey faded away.
Ottoman Age Mystic
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Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
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Sultans and Concubines and Eunuchs, oh my...!

Site visitors may navigate the encyclopedia using the
Ottoman Empire Index
or the
Encyclopedia Sources Page.
Term Meaning Comments
Lale Devri Tulip Period A period of frivolous Ottoman Society -- between the years of 1718 and 1730.
[Island of] Lesbos see Midilli  
Layla wa Majnun
(Layla and Majnun)

The star-crossed lovers of eastern legend were Layla and Majnun -- who swooned 1000 years before Romeo and Juliet. Layla was also known as: Leili, Leyla, Leyli, Leila). Majnun (which means crazy, maddened in Arabic) was originally known as Qays (the given-name his family bestowed on him at birth) -- long before he met and fell madly in love with Layla. In Turkish, they are 'mecnun' and 'leyla', shown in lower case because their names have become part of the Turkish vernacular. And when they appear together, it denotes a love that verges on madness.
They were finally immortalized in written Persian poetry by Nezami in 12th Century.

Also see Kerem ile Aslı.

These legendary Arabian lovers were 'featured' in Turkish Pop-singer Kayahan's 1999 hit single, Yine şişe bitecek (Another bottle will be emptied). Click here to see the song lyric, and here to hear a song-clip.

Leander's TowerSee Kız Kulesi. 
[Ferdinand de] Lesseps
in full,
Ferdinand-Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps


Right click to 'View' or 'Zoom' image enlargement...

France's Man in Cairo...82

Lesseps was a distinguished achiever in his own right -- holding memberships in the French Academy, the Academy of Sciences, and in numerous scientific societies. The French awarded him the grand cross of the Legion of Honour and the Star of India -- and, in England, he received the 'key to the city' of London. And although, in later life, a scandal surfaced (about his involvement [between 1881 and 1889] in plans to build the Panama Canal), he was so well-respected (because of his intellectual abilities, unselfishness, and personal charm) that the scandal did nothing to stain his reputation.

French diplomat famous for his role in building the Suez Canal (between 1859-69) across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt.
Lesseps came from a family of distinguished government service 'employees'. When he was sent in 1832 to Alexandria, he came across a 30-year-old-proposal (by one of Napoleon Bonaparte's engineers, Le Père) for a Suez Canal -- and Lesseps was hooked. He began to explore the idea with his new Ottoman friend Mehmed Ali Paşa, the Ottoman vali of Egypt -- and also with Mehmed Ali's son, Said (who was also Lesseps' student). His discussions led Lesseps to hope that he might one day finish the canal that Le Père had envisioned. But circumstances blocked his way, and he couldn't pursue his plans at once.
Lesseps career was in tatters (due to his attempts to reconcile the papacy and the Second French Republic during 1849) when (in 1854) his old student and friend, Said (now a full-fledged paşa himself), was appointed Ottoman vali of Egypt -- which revived Lesseps' ambitions. On Nov. 30, 1854, Said Pasha signed the first 'Act of Concession' authorizing Lesseps to cut through the isthmus of the Suez....
"A first scheme, directed by Lesseps, was immediately drawn up by the surveyors Linant Bey and Mougel Bey (L. M. Linant de Bellefonds and E. Mougel) providing for direct communication between the Mediterranean and Red Sea, and, after being slightly modified, it was adopted by an international commission of engineers in 1856. Encouraged by this approval, Lesseps allowed no obstacles to retard the work, and he succeeded in rousing the French people to subscribe more than half the capital needed to form the company, which was organized in 1858. The first blow of the pickax was given by Lesseps at Port Said on April 25, 1859; and 10 years later, on Nov. 17, 1869, the Suez Canal was officially inaugurated by the empress Eugénie, who had been invited by the host of the celebrations, the new vali, Ismail Pasha."66
[King] Louis II (Lajos II) --
of Hungary and Bohemia
King of Hungary (1516-26) and Bohemia (1509-26), Louis (Lajos) was the son and successor of King Ladislas II of Bohemia and Hungary. Louis assumed control of state affairs in 1516, but he was not formally declared king until he came of age in 1521. Weak both in physique and in character, he was an ineffectual sovereign. He surrendered Belgrade to the Turks in 1521 and lost the Battle of Mohacs (along with his life) to them in 1526.18
[Martin] Luther (1483-1546)

After Henry VIII pompously wrote his Seven Sacraments against Martin Luther in 1521 (for which he received Pope Leo's 'Defender of the Faith' award), Luther took his time answering. When he did, it was worth the wait... Will Durant tells us that in 1525 Luther "replied characteristically to 'that lubberly ass, that frantic madman...that King of Lies, King Heinz by God's disgrace King of England...Since with malice aforethought that damnable and rotten worm has lied against my King in heaven, it is right for me to bespatter this English monarch with his own filth'. Henry, unaccustomed to such sprinkling, complained to the Elector of Saxony, who was too polite to tell him not to meddle with lions. The King never forgave Luther, despite the latter's later apology; and even when [Henry was] in full rebellion against the papacy, he [still] repudiated [Luther's] German Protestants."35
German theologian and religious reformer, who was the 'Father of the Protestant Reformation' -- and whose vast influence, extending beyond religion to politics, economics, education, and language, has made him one of the crucial figures in modern European history.21
Some historians judge that without the Ottoman threat led by Süleyman, The Magnificent, which distracted Christian leaders from dealing effectively with the Protestant movement, Luther would not have been as successful as he was. Many of the same historians believe that without the Protestant threat led by Luther, which distracted Christian leaders from mounting a united front against the Ottomans, Süleyman would not have been as successful as he was. Tit for tat...
Born in Eisleben (1483); M.A., Erfurt (1505). Became an Augustinian friar; ordained priest (1507); lectured in Wittenberg on dialectics, physics, and the Scriptures (1508). On mission to Rome (1510-11), where he was unfavorably impressed by conditions. Professor of Biblical exegesis, Wittenberg (1511-46). Began to preach the doctrine of salvation by faith rather than by works; attacked the church's sale of indulgences; nailed to the church door at Wittenberg (Oct.31, 1517) his 95 theses questioning the value of the indulgences and condemning the means used by the agents in selling them. Publicly defended his position in appearances before a chapter of his own Augustinian order (May, 1518) and before Cardinal Legate Cajetan (Oct., 1518); appealed from the pope to a general council of the church. Publicly debated the issue in Leipzig with the theologian Johann Eck (July, 1519), and went further than the mere indulgence issue by denying the supremacy of the pope, by asserting that the act of the church council in condemning John Huss had been wrong. Publicized his arguments by pamphlets, An Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity, of the Church, The Liberty of a Christian Man. Excommunicated by Pope Leo X (bull issued June 15, 1520 about the time when Süleyman, The Magnificent became Sultan); publicly burned the bull. Appeared before Diet of Worms convened by Charles V [Holy Roman Emperor] (Apr.17 and 18, 1521); Diet passed the Edict of Worms, putting Luther under the ban of the empire. Luther's friend Frederick of Saxony concealed him for safety in a castle at Wartburg (1521-22); there he wrote his pamphlet On Monastic Vows and translated the New Testament from Greek into German. Returned to Wittenberg (1522) and devoted himself to organization of the church he had inaugurated. Married Katharina von Bora (1525), a former nun. Translated the Old Testament, and wrote many commentaries, catechisms, etc.34

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